Congrats! You did it…you’re here. Meditation for beginners: quick and easy steps.
I have been meditating for 5 years, yet there is still so much I DON’T know. Don’t let that intimidate you, but rather, keep that in mind as you try out this technique for beginners.
With that said, don’t think you “can’t” do it. Everyone can do it. You might just need to find the right technique or try different things to find what works for you. Meditation takes practice and is never perfect.
The biggest assumption and misconception regarding meditation is that “you must turn off your brain”. For that reason, I believe it scares many people off. As you practice, you will get better at “silencing” the brain, but when you are beginning to meditate, you will find your mind wandering and that is okay. Even the most experienced meditators will find that their mind is wandering.
Below are the same steps as mentioned in my guide with just a little more detail to help make your first few meditation sessions that much more successful.
STEP 1 – Find a quiet place and sit however you are comfortable. This is a place free of immediate distraction.
Typically, you want to sit in an up-right position to keep from falling asleep. However, you may want to use it as a tool to fall asleep – it all depends what time of day you are meditating. I will meditate lying in bed if I want to do it before sleep or to put me to sleep. I’ve fallen asleep many times while meditating and it is calming, to say the least. For me, it’s easy to get lost in going deeper and deeper into the relaxation.
STEP 2 – Meditation music (unless you prefer silence or silence is all you have).
YouTube or download some meditation music. Music is a beautiful way to naturally relax you and put you in the right state of mind. However, music may not always be available.
- You go to the beach, forget your headphones, but you are relaxed and want to take 5 minutes to enjoy the serenity. Just plop down on the ground and take in the sound of nature as you meditate, using that as your tool to taking you deep into relaxation.
- You had a stressful commute into work so you just sit in your car, close your eyes to regroup without bothering with music.
- It’s so easy and simple, you can meditate at work. Just close your eyes and breathe.
This is one of my favorites. I actually listened to this while in labor with my first child.
STEP 3 – Start by taking deep breaths – in through the nose and out through the mouth.
If you need help, YouTube also provides some awesome guided meditations that can help you get started.
STEP 4 – Focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, acknowledge the thought and take it back to the breath. I really want to expand on this point.
After a few good breaths, you may find yourself thinking about everything you need to do. For instance, you might all of a sudden think of your shopping list, or maybe you remember you forgot to send extra diapers to daycare or pick up your dry cleaning. Acknowledge these passing thoughts and go back to your breath. Count your breaths if it helps.
“In – one, two, three, four. Out – one, two, three, four.”
You may also find outside noises “interrupting” your relaxation. Like the wandering mind, just acknowledge these things and get back to what you were doing and let those things take you deeper into your relaxation. I have heard emergency vehicle sirens, screaming children, honking horns, etc during my sessions but never let it break my focus.
STEP 5 – Beginners generally only start with 3-5 minutes of meditation.
That’s it! It’s really not long at all. Sometimes it goes by so fast and you want more. If that happens, then most certainly keep your eyes shut!!!
IMAGERY AND FINDING A HAPPY PLACE
Use your imagination. Create a mental image of a place that brings you peace. This location can be real or imaginary. Maybe it’s a mix of both. I have two “happy places” I go to. One is made up and the other is a real location with made up aspects.
Maybe your happy place is a mountain, or a beach, or a desert. Maybe it’s sitting outside in the rain. Are you alone? Are there other people nearby? Maybe you have a pet with you. Maybe you eat an imaginary ice cream cone every time you visit this spot. How does this place make you feel? You set the scene, so add little things that make you feel comfortable, safe and happy – just don’t get too complicated
Taking this tip, let’s revisit step number 4 – focusing on your breath. In your mind, you may be in your happy place on the beach when all of a sudden you are thinking of that darn shopping list. Again, acknowledge the thought and go back to that breath along with the imagery.
Sometimes nature is the ultimate relaxation. Likewise, sometimes people can’t stand the quiet that comes with nature. I attached some images that might help you get in the right mindset of relaxation.
GIVE IT A TRY
You’re now ready to start meditating. I hope you found these steps on how to meditate for beginners as easy as I once did. Good luck and let me know how it goes in the comments. Stay tuned for more in the Mind & Soul section of the blog.